Starting up OA in our Troop

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Starting up OA in our Troop

Postby fritz1255 » Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:13 am

Our Troop has traditional not participated much in OA. I can think of only one Scout who was a member, and we currently have none. We are trying to get it started again, but we (the current leadership) know little or nothing about it. A couple of questions to help get us started:

1) Who selects boys for membership and when?

2) What are the "real" criteria for selection? Should every boy who is eligible (has satisfied the camping requirement) be selected? I guess I could see it both ways. I keep explaining to the boys that Scouts is about the only organization they will ever particpate in where the requirements for promotion/advancement are spelled out in a book, and they get the promotion when they complete the work. No "this guy has a bad attitude, let's not promote him" except in exceptional circumstances. On the other hand, we really have no way to reward Scouts who clearly go above and beyond. Maybe this is one way?
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Re: Starting up OA in our Troop

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:30 am

To answer a part of your questions. The youth pick the membership. ALso there are two requirements for membership the camping requirement and First Class or up when elected. A troop may have one adult chosen by the ytroop committee (who meets the camping requirement) for each 50 registered youth in your unit so if you have 50 or less you get one adult per year.
Fritz you need to contact your Lodge and ask them about holding the Spring election. They may/should have a unit election team that will come out and hold your election. Your Lodge Web site is
It is possible that everyone that meets the requirement be elected. If they meet those and the SM approves them for the election then they all get in. Once they are elected you cannot say no not him. The SM must approve or disapprove prior to the actual election and sign off on that. There are forms that are used for the election.
Also remember the OA is a servoce organization and if you are using the OA as a reward and not for what it is meant to be do not have the election. You are expected once in the Lodge to give service to the Lodge and the Council.
Our Lodge does all the Maintenance at our scout reservation we do not pay anyone for that. We cut grass Build Buildings replace roofs etc. We hold 4 service weekends a year and have ceremonies in the Evenings of those weekends. We also have a February Banquet. Our weekend average over 250 in attendance.

Your Unit Election Information ... &Itemid=86

/A: Camping Requirement Interpretation
Q: Who decides what camping activities qualify for the camping requirement needed for election to the Order of the Arrow?

A: With the camping requirement, as with all other eligibility requirements, it is the Unit Leader's job to interpret whether a Scout has met the requirement.

As stated in the Guide for Officers and Advisers (#34997A, 1999 revision, page 20):

"Unit Leader Approval. To become eligible for election, a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout must be registered with the Boy Scouts of America and have the approval of his unit leader prior to the election. The unit leader must certify his Scout spirit (i.e. his adherence to the Scout Oath and Law and active participation in unit activities). The unit leader must also certify that the nominee meets all specified requirements at the time of this annual election."

Other than defining the length of time needed for a camping activity to be considered a long-term camp*, the National Order of the Arrow Committee leaves the interpretation of the camping requirement to the unit leader.

* A "long-term camp" is one consisting of at least six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping. A "short-term camp" is anything less than that.

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Re: Starting up OA in our Troop

Postby ThunderingWind » Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:59 pm

I am glad to hear of more units that were "not traditionally" supportive of OA seeking info and holding elections.

When my son crossed over, his Troop was very similar. However, the new SM was very pro-OA. So at Spring Camporee,
we help our elections and the boys got tapped out. They were psyched! We also put in two adults after an edict came from
the Council praising our new found support and one other adult from the unit but was District nomination.

All may not have been 100% by the rules but it meets my outsider-looking-in at a unit trying to rebuild interpretation of the

I fully believe in OA, or better yet, what I know of OA. I hope to find myself in a position to participate someday.
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Re: Starting up OA in our Troop

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Sep 15, 2008 4:19 pm

Fritz one way to get more Adults in at a time was mentioned by TW. Each district may put a deserving adult in also. SO if you can convine your district committee etc to give you that slot so you cna two adults in the first year.
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Re: Starting up OA in our Troop

Postby WVBeaver05 » Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:39 pm

Unless things have changed in the last couple years, the Election Team will make a very good presentation to your Scouts that explains the OA and the election process. I watched this process from a distance (as my son was one of those eligible). Even some of the new Scouts asked very good questions and got answers. And, the Troop elected 2 of the 3 Scouts on the ballot. As it turns out, the one not elected had not been present for about 6 months of the preceeding year.


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Re: Starting up OA in our Troop

Postby Chief J » Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:05 am

Everyone has summed it up well. Get ahold of your Lodge and ask for a home troop election. All Scouts who are 1st Class and have the required days of camping are eligible for SM approval to be on the ballot. In my experiences, the Lodge election teams are well trained and self sufficient in conducting their presentations and holding the elections.

The OA is a different, yet I believe important aspect of Scouting. Those Youth become active and support the Lodge activities work hard, and play harder and also forge some great lasting friendships that they may otherwise not have a chance to experience.

OA participation has rekindled the Scouting spirit in more than one young man I have met and helped them refocus on the Scouting program.

Best Wishes,
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